In the past, salespeople had to physically visit their prospects and make a pitch in person. This was known as cold calling—a brief introduction followed by an inquiry relying solely on intuition that both parties could be of value to one another. They would leave some documents behind before driving away, waiting for any form of response from the prospect.

Although the cold-calling process may not be what is most common nowadays, it still offers valuable lessons that everyone can learn from. Cold calling establishes a connection among people and creates productive conversations between both sides. It requires skill to transfer these principles into an email but by following certain guidelines you will have no trouble creating meaningful relationships:


Cold call emails tend to be one of those monotonous requests we all receive too frequently, so you’ll want yours to stand out from the rest. Don’t go overboard with flashy fonts or design elements; just make it obvious that this isn’t a canned message. Begin your email by referencing something shared between yourself and your recipient—for instance, “I really enjoyed meeting you after your presentation at the conference” or “Your book resonated with me since I have also pursued journalism in my own unique way.” This will grab their attention and compel them to keep reading!

It might be beneficial to explain why you’re emailing now; such as, “Would it be possible for us to meet and discuss XYZ while you are here in town/attending the conference/visiting my business?” or, “I would love the chance to speak with you regarding potential openings at Company XYZ.”

Ultimately, finish your communication with a comprehensive signature that shows off your job title and business, in addition to links to any applicable social media platforms.

Be Catchy and Brief

Crafting a captivating subject line is paramount to catching the attention of your recipient. And it’s just as important for you to keep things short and sweet once they open the email, so resist any temptation to turn this into an essay! Stick with 7-10 sentences max and instead of generic phrases like ‘Meeting?’, opt for something more engaging like ‘Coffee on me!’ With such an enticing offer, you’re sure to pique their curiosity – or that of their assistant at least!

Establish Purpose

As the main point of this email, let’s cut to the chase. Before getting into crafting it, you must have a goal in mind. Is your aim for a response? A 15-minute phone call? An appointment? Or even a job opportunity perhaps? Make sure that is crystal clear by writing something like: “I was so excited when I saw news of your startup‘s launch and I’d be thrilled to work with you. I could bring experience with web design, professional coaching, and managing large teams to help your company develop quickly and sustainably.”

Always remember this golden rule: understand what you would like to receive from the recipient, but at the same time make certain that you present yourself in a valuable way. Are you eager to get an important phone call? Propose some new thoughts on something they are passionate about. Looking for job opportunities? Introduce them with your prior experiences and how they can be advantageous. When sending out cold emails, it’s all about making requests – ask away but also ensure that there is something of value being given back in return! And don’t let them off too easily; inquire “What does your schedule look like next week?” or even ask “Which afternoon this coming week shall I call?”.  By taking this bold approach, you can emphasize your motives and build on the relationship that has been formed through your emails.

Follow Up

Although the outcome of your efforts may not be instantaneous, maintain a persistent attitude. Demonstrate that you have the determination to contact important individuals. Follow up with an email or phone call and remain faithful to your original goals and direction.  “I met ______ at _______, and I’d like to discuss ________. What’s the best number and time to call?” Compromise should be at the forefront of your mind. Even if you don’t get a response from who you are looking for, consider other ways to still accomplish what you need while staying open to advice or opportunities presented by a new contact. Strategize how best to use all resources available to ensure that your desired outcome is achieved.

Have you tried writing cold call emails? What helped you be successful? Let us know in the comments!

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